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Kane gets surgical tune-up

Jets left-winger healing after procedure to fix foot problem

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Winnipeg Jets left-winger Evander Kane had surgery Thursday to relieve a nerve problem in his left foot.

The Jets said Kane's recovery will be between four and six weeks. The surgery was done in Winnipeg this week, but Kane will be able to heal at home in Vancouver.

The 21-year-old was clearly not at 100 per cent at the conclusion of the Jets' 48-game regular season.

On one occasion, he missed a pre-game warm-up skate while his medical issues were being treated.

"I'm banged up right now so I'm going to have to take care of some medical things first, unfortunately," Kane said when the season was over, telling reporters he'd be unable to consider any invitation to play at the world championship in May.

"I got a wrist that might need some work done on it and I've got some nerve damage in my lower leg and foot," Kane said at the time. "I had to get that taken care of before every game in order to play."

Kane's wrist injury happened early in the year and he said at the conclusion of the season only time would help that heal. A Jets spokesman said Thursday Kane's wrist has improved since the end of the season.

Kane also said in late April he didn't think surgery would be required to repair either problem, but the Jets said Thursday the pressure on the nerve in his foot simply wasn't getting any better, even though he is now six weeks past the end of the season.

Kane, in the first year of his new, six-year contract, scored 17 goals and 33 points in the 2013 season, playing all 48 games.

 

Slater on the mend

JIM SLATER'S extra-long off-season has been mitigated somewhat by staying plugged in.

The Winnipeg Jets centre said Thursday he's been soaking up the action, on the ice and off, to help him deal with the fact he's played only seven weeks in the last year-plus.

"I've enjoyed the playoffs," Slater said via phone on Thursday. "There have been some really good matchups. I'm a fan of the game. It's playoff hockey, some great games out there.

"It's been fun to watch and tough to watch because anytime you don't make it or get knocked out early, it can be hard to watch."

Slater played the first 19 games of the lockout-delayed 2013 NHL season but after being hit with what seemed like a harmless shot in a game against Toronto at the MTS Centre on March 12, he missed the final 29 games with a broken bone in his finger.

"I've blocked harder shots than that," he said. "It just caught me in the right spot. At first, I didn't really know it was broken. It didn't even hurt but there was a pretty significant break.

"The finger was actually more trouble than I thought it would be. It took a little longer to get back than I thought. Towards the end of the season, I was real close to playing those final few games but I just wasn't able to get back.

"If we had gotten into the playoffs, I would have been ready."

His season ended with just a goal and an assist.

Slater is one of just 10 regulars on the team under contract for 2013-14 and he said he's more than attentive to intriguing times that lie ahead for the team and GM Kevin Cheveldayoff.

"I've been watching the playoffs and also trying to figure out what's going on with guys signed or traded to other teams," Slater said. "I know we have a lot of free agents. I'm sure we're going to see new faces on our team next year. I'm always into it, checking things out, checking the papers."

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 14, 2013 C2

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